Job Type

Full Time


Details: Salary based on education and experience



Start Date


Application Deadline



1100 Wayne Avenue
Suite 1000
Silver Spring
United States


Position Title:                                    AUCD Policy Fellow

Host Site:                                           AUCD Headquarters, Silver Spring, MD

Service Term:                                    January 2, 2019-January 2, 2020

Schedule:                                           Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 5:00 p.m       

Supervisor Name:                             Rylin Rodgers

Supervisor Title:                                Public Policy Director

Supervisor Email:                    

Address:                                             1100 Wayne Avenue, Suite 1000, Silver Spring, MD 20910

Phone:                                                301-588-8252




AUCD, a leading national disability organization that has a direct impact at the local, state, national, and international levels to advance policy and practice, is seeking a Policy Fellow to help implement the Association’s legislative and federal advocacy priorities and strategies. Current and future national legislation and advocacy activities have significant impacts on the nature and extent of services and supports for persons with disabilities and their families at the state and local level. It is imperative that current and future leaders in the field of disabilities have an in-depth understanding of the many issues and factors that influence and guide policy development as well as the implementation of disability related laws by executive branch agencies. Knowledge of these issues and the factors that influence them, as well as the policy process at the national level, collaboration with national advocacy organizations, participation in legislative advocacy, contact with federal agency officials and involvement in federal grants of a national scope have resulted in an enhanced and expanded leadership potential of Fellows as they return to their home communities.


AUCD promotes and supports a national network of interdisciplinary centers on disabilities. Its members represent every U.S. state and territory and include 67 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), 52 Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Programs and 14 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers (IDDRC). Together, these organizations advance policy and practice through research, education, leadership, and services for and with individuals with disabilities, their families and communities in support of independence, inclusion, and a fulfilling life.


The AUCD office is located in downtown Silver Spring, MD, one block from the red line Silver Spring Metro station. This is a full-time position.



The purpose of this Fellowship is to provide significant experiences in national level activities related to policy and legislative development, advocacy, program development, technical assistance, and AUCD administration. The Fellowship in Disability Policy is envisioned as a mutually beneficial arrangement between the Fellow, the Fellows community, and the AUCD central office. The Fellow will benefit from the experiences and contacts developed during the Fellowship period as well as participation in national level activities and subsequently informing their base community of activities and knowledge gained. AUCD will benefit by having increased assistance to carry out its mission as well as additional local and state perspectives from the AUCD network. The overall goal of the Fellowship is to enhance the leadership capacity of the Fellow through a range of work experiences and responsibilities aiming to:


1. Provide experience in the development of national policy and legislation related to individuals with disabilities, their families and those who work on their behalf;

2. Broaden the Fellow's knowledge of the AUCD membership, its work and issues; and

3. Develop key relationships with other federal level organizations including federal agencies, associations, advocacy groups, and other public and private entities related to the disabilities field.



Major Responsibilities:

The Fellowship experience will be jointly developed by the Fellow and AUCD senior staff based on the needs of the central office and Policy Team, taking into consideration current AUCD projects and priorities, as well as skills and interests of the Fellow. At a minimum, the Fellow will be responsible for the following:


-         Assist in writing and dissemination of In Brief, AUCD's weekly legislative update;

-         Attend relevant meetings/forums and congressional hearings;

-         Participate in meetings with Congressional offices related to particular policy issues;

-         Work with AUCD's Policy Team to formulate and promote the legislative goals of AUCD;

-         Provide policy updates and technical assistance to association members.

-         Draft press releases;

-         Develop and distribute action alerts;

-         Assist with planning and logistics of the Disability Policy Seminar and AUCD's Annual Meeting;

-         Attend AUCD all-staff meetings; and

-         Other special projects/activities/tasks as needed.


Required Qualifications:

-      Must be at least 18 years of age

-         Must be a citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident alien of the United States, and eligible for employment

-         Ability to work independently and as a team player, take initiative, and manage multiple tasks and projects

-         Interest in working with individuals with disabilities, including individuals with intellectual disabilities, and people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds


Required Knowledge and Skills: 

-         Some knowledge of federal legislative and executive regulatory processes, especially federal budget and appropriations processes

-         Some knowledge of current developments in the field of disability policy, education, health and social services legislation as it relates to the work of AUCD Centers and programs

-         Excellent written and verbal communication skills

-         Passion for AUCD's mission


Preferred Knowledge and Skills:

-         Familiarity with the national network of University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs); Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND); and Intellectual and Developmental Disability Research Centers (IDDRC)

-         Knowledge of key federal agencies, especially ACL, HRSA, NIH and the CDC

-         Familiarity with national disability, health and educational advocacy groups

-         Hill experience

-         Experience in higher education settings


Health, vision and dental insurance benefits; commuting stipend; paid sick leave and three weeks of paid vacation. Opportunity to be involved in a broad range of disability related issues, to work in a fast paced yet relaxed office atmosphere and to have the potential to truly make a national impact. AUCD is committed to an inclusive culture that values all types of diversity, and as such has experience accommodating a wide range of disability and related workplace needs.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

High School

How To Apply

Please submit: (1) a letter of interest, (2) a resume of relevant experience, (3) names and contact information of at least three professional references, (4) a writing sample (optional) and (5) any accommodations needed for the application and interview process (optional) to Rylin Rodgers ( with “Application for AUCD Policy Fellow” as the subject line. Applications will be accepted until October 15th and reviewed immediately.


AUCD is an equal opportunity employer. Persons from diverse cultures and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.